Friday, July 9, 2010


There's not much that makes me happier than when I see this:
I've been seeing this a lot this summer--mismatched pajamas, crazy hair and all!  My kids LOVE to read, and it thrills my soul to see them curled up on the couch reading when they could be doing any number of other summery things.  Whether it's school books, books from their rooms, or their High Five/Highlights magazines that Granny Sue buys for them, they love them all!

I've been busy planning for the upcoming school year, which begins one week from Monday.  The kids and I are both ready.  As they have observed me making preparations, I've heard many times this week, "Mommy, I'm ready for school to start!"

That makes me pretty happy, too!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4th!

In honor of July 4th, we had our morning worship in the park this morning.  What a great way to celebrate our freedom as Americans and our freedom in Christ Jesus!  Sharing a hamburger lunch afterwards made for a wonderful start to a special day in our lives as citizens of these great United States. 

Have a blessed Independence Day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New York, New York!!

Many months ago, Mark and I began pondering what we wanted to do to celebrate our approaching tenth anniversary.  We threw around the idea of a cruise, but ended up deciding on a trip to New York City--a first for me.  Mark was there eleven or twelve years ago, but only long enough to see a show on Broadway and a couple of sites.

The planning began at the most important place--child care!  We have limited overnight childcare options, but fortunately we also have a very mature, capable high-school-age niece.  We worked with her schedule, which meant we had to wait for school to be out.  But that was okay--it gave us a few more months to save a few extra dollars (that's a good thing, because almost everything in NYC costs umpteen times more than it does here in Texas!).

We arrived in NYC at rush hour--a great time to experience what life in NYC is really like, which just happened to be a little overwhelming to me!  It honestly took me about 24 hours to settle into NYC and feel glad that I was there.  I wasn't expecting that.  There is a never-ending supply of yellow taxi cabs in NYC--which is a good thing when you don't know where you are, but you know you're not where you want to be.  Overall, we had good taxi experiences--but there was the one maniac, suicidal taxi-cab driver that just about did me in!  Here's a shot of rush-hour traffic:

I had to be brave to do some of the sites in NYC.  The older I get, the more afraid of heights I become.  I don't know why--it just happens.  But I gave myself some pep talks, and Mark was able to get me to the "Top of the Rock" (Rockefeller Center, with Central Park behind me):
as well as to the top--the VERY top--of the Empire State Building. 
If you wanted to pay extra money, you could go to the 102nd floor (which just happens to be 1,250 feet off the ground--yikes!), which is above the "normal" observatory.  Here's what traffic looks like from up there (and no, I did NOT take this picture!  Are you kidding me?  I couldn't even stand to look down, much less take a picture down there!!!!):

  Ugh, that gives me the willies just to look at the picture!   I tried really hard to be a good sport--all the while my back was plastered up against the inside wall.  Well, not quite....but almost.  Mark could have stayed up there forever.

We saw all the "major sites", like the Statue of Liberty, which was incredible to see in person:

We rented bikes to ride around Central Park:

We discovered the best way to guarantee you won't gain any weight while on vacation in NYC is to walk and bike yourself around the city in record-breaking heat.  That way you just sweat off all the extra pounds you take in from having dessert every night (yes, we did!).  Every day we were there, NYC was experiencing record heat.  Incidentally, the day we left and the entire week following our time there, the temps were in the 70's.  Nice.

Mark also got me to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge--more heights! 

What an amazing engineering feat, from a time that was without the tools and technology of today!

My favorite part of the trip, bar none, was seeing "Mary Poppins" on Broadway!  It was absolutely fantastic, and the talent there was incredible.  I couldn't help but think throughout the show how much my kids would have LOVED to have been there to see that!

(I have a red coat that makes my day everytime I get to wear it.   Up to this point, I've always called it my Red Riding Hood coat.  NOW it has become my Mary Poppins coat--it looks very much like this one does, only mine has a hood!)  Moving right along...

Here's a few more random shots from the trip:

We saw several beautiful churches while touring NYC, including St Patrick's Cathedral, and this one, which is Trinity Church near Ground Zero.  The stained glass windows inside these beautiful churches are always some of my favorite things to see in them.

Here's Times Square, in all its bright, shining glory!  That's quite a sight to see!  Talk about sensory overload!

There's not much to see at Ground Zero except for lots of cranes and construction, but there was this particular cross and the sign beside it:

It was all I could do to not cry my eyes out the entire time we were walking around Ground Zero.

I could keep going on and on with pictures and stories, but I'll wrap it up with this final picture:
I just had to have a picture!  My sweet husband had me pick out a bracelet at Tiffany's for my "Happy 10th Anniversary/Happy 35th Birthday/NYC Souvenir" gift!  It was probably one of the smallest transactions that salesman had done all day, but that doesn't matter to me.  I have a beautiful heart bracelet to wear that carries many, many memories with it of a fabulous trip to NYC!